In 2001, the Falcons go up and down with wins and losses all season before finishing with a 7-9 record.
In 2002, in their first full year with Michael Vick at starting Quarterback the Falcons got off to a slow start losing their first two games in heartbreak fashion. They Lost in overtime to the Green Bay Packer, and then lost 14-13 on a missed field goal (ugh!) by Jay Feeley in their home opener against the Chicago Bear. However, against the Cincinnati Bengals a week later the Falcons got their first win, as a national audience displayed the talents of the Falcons young starting QB. After being crushed with a 1-3 with a home loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the Falcons showed some strength by beating the New York giants on the road with backup QB Doug Johnson subbing for an injured Michael Vick.
Vick would return the following week as the Falcons went unbeaten in their next 7 games culminating with an exciting 30-24 overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings in which Vick scored the running Touchdown on a dynamic 46-yard run, that was part of a record breaking 173 rushing yards for the multitalented QB. Down the stretch, the Falcons would struggle winning just one of their last four games.
Nonetheless, their 9-6-1 record was good enough for a playoff spot as Michael Vick had an impressive first year as starter with 777 rushing yards and 2936 passing yards. In the playoffs, Michael Vick would show the poise of a veteran rushing for 64 yards in the snow as the Falcons became the first road team ever to beat the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in the playoffs 27-7. A week later, the Philadelphia Eagles 20-6 would clip the Falcons.
In 2003, the Falcons playoff hopes took a blow before the season. Despite missing Vick after he suffered a broken leg the Flacons started the season strong with a solid 27-13 win on the road over the Dallas Cowboys with backup QB Doug Johnson. They appeared to be off to a strong start again in their home opener the following week as they had an early 17-0 lead over the Washington Redskins. The Redskins would come roaring back and would stun the Falcons 33-31. Things would worsen as the loss started a 7-game losing streak in which the Flacons were barley competitive losing their next six games by an average of 20 points. With Vick, healing slower then expected frustrations began to boil over as Coach Dan Reeves questioned his toughness. The Flacons losing streak would come to an with a solid 27-7 road win over the New York Giants, but it was too late to save the Falcons season, as they continued to struggle without Vick losing their next 2 games, before he finally returned during a 17-13 loss on the road to the Houston Texans. Hoping to salvage their lost season Michael Vick made his first start the following week against the Carolina Panthers. With his legs and with his arm Vick accounted for 320 yards as the Falcons stunned the eventual NFC Champions in overtime 20-14. However, the win was too late to help keep Dan Reeves' job as he was told to take a hike and replaced in the final three games by Wade Phillips. Under Phillips the Falcons would lose their first game to the Indianapolis Colts, but would bounce back to win their final two games to finish their disappointing season with a 5-11 record finishing in last place in the NFC South.
In 2004, after a year of injury and frustration, Michael Vick was healthy from the start as the Falcons won their first four games under new Coach Jim Mora Jr. The Falcons would use the strong start to win the NFC South with an 11-5 record as Michael Vick who had ordinary passing numbers with 2,313 yards passing and 14 Touchdown Passes.
However, rushing the ball Vick nearly had a record-breaking year rushing for 902 yards the 3rd best for a QB in NFL history, falling 66 yards short of the record while seeing only limited action in the final two games of the year with the Falcons locked in with the second seed in the NFC Playoffs. The rushing of Vick led the Flacons offense, but it was the improved defense that led the NFL with 48 sacks that helped the Falcons goes from first to last as they earned a first round playoff bye.
Facing the St. Louis Rams in the Divisional Playoff Round the Falcons controlled the game early as Vick rushed for 119 yards while throwing 2 TD passes as the Falcons jumped out to a 28-17 lead at halftime and never looked back shutting own the Rams in the 2nd half on the way to a 47-17 win. They advanced to NFC Championship for the second time in franchise history. In the NFC Championship, the Falcons faced a Philadelphia Eagles team starving for success playing in their fourth straight title game. On the road and facing an uphill battle, the Falcons fell behind trailing 14-3 early in the 2nd Quarter. The Falcons would make it close scoring a TD just before halftime. However, after halftime the Falcons still fought as Michael Vick was limited to 26 rushing yards and 136 passing yards as the Eagles won 27-10 to advance to Super Bowl XXXIX.
Now in 2005, the Falcons are ready to soar. They’re just 1 game short of the Super Bowl they looked loaded and ready to go expect a big year from QB Michael Vick as the Falcons rise to the top of the NFC with an underrated defense and exciting offense, that will leave defenders out of breath.